Should we force someone to convert to Catholicism?

And if they don’t convert to Catholicism, will they go to hell? I always think of the afterlife of non-christians. Thank you very much.


Thank you :smile::smile:

This is even hard to imagine. We live in free countries, so forcing anyone is not an option.


Do you think God approves of forced conversion? I think He doesn’t.


No, it is Church teaching that forcing conversion is wrong.

The Church has never forbidden us to pray for the souls of non-Catholics nor proclaimed any particular person to be in Hell. The current Catechism makes clear that those souls may (despite not being Catholic) attain Heaven.

I see Catholicism as a set of directions to Heaven. This does not preclude others from getting there, but gives the best and easiest way.


It is not only against Church teaching but against common sense. A forced convert would be faithful only outwardly but God knows the heart.


Obviously not! Anyway, if a person was forcefully converted, it doesn’t mean that he would go to heaven anyway because he doesn’t truly believe/repent etc


I discretely point out the conversion of pagan Europe where ”convert or die/have your family killed” were standard practice.

Vatican II was about a millennium too late for anyone to have faith in the good will of the RCC.


Never force anyone to convert to a faith they don’t wish to be a member of. Instead, be a light in the darkness.

Whether the person who doesn’t wish to convert goes to Hell or not is between that person and God.

Nah I don’t care if they don’t want to convert… I prefer to let them decide for themselves.

The Roman Catholic Church has a very difficult history of forcing people to convert during the Middle Ages, especially during various stages of the Inquisition. You might want to read up on the stories of the ‘Conversos’ in Mexico, for example, Jews who fled after baptism was forced upon them. They practiced their Judaism in secret. I have a friend who comes from that line. It was a hard time in Europe for non-Christians. The Church has not always been honorable, to say the least.

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Most conversions were done peacefully. You had the missionaries going out and getting willing converts. Ireland is a great example for that in regards to St. Patrick. And many missionaries were killed for their missionary efforts.

Now, Saxony was the most prevalent exception to that. Part of the reason being that the Saxons were a continuous thorn in Charlemagne’s side so he thought forced conversion (they had resisted missionaries) was his last option. So in that case, it was the secular authority if the Franks leading that effort.

Bearing False Witness by Rodney Stark is the book I read a section of which addressed the forced conversions as largely a myth.

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If you’re forcing someone, then it’s not really a true conversion.

Granted, parents are obligated to raise their kids Catholic but there comes a point where someone’s conversion is on their own.


You do yours as long as it makes you happy.

I have read enough of the Scandinavian sources to know exactly where I stand on this.


I think by now it should be clear that members of the Church don’t always follow Church teaching.


You don’t force.
It is up to the individual to make their own decision.
Full stop

I question this assertion. Have you any sources to quote/link to?

Forced conversion is false conversion. The ‘convert’ will not believe, only pretend: and he will hate you and hate the doctrine you force upon him.


You may be able to force people to be baptized, take the Eucharist and go to mass every Sunday.
You can’t force someone to believe. Nor should you attempt to.

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You cannot force anybody to convert to Catholicism. You might be able to force them to go through the motions, but true conversion is not something that can be forced. People can go to hell even if you try to force them to convert.

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